Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The musical 'Proudly Green: 100 years of La Salle' looks to next 100 years

The new and much talked-about musical ‘Proudly  Green’ with a cast of 100, tackles two messages that the 100-year old De La Salle University hopes its 180,000 students in its 17 campuses across the country must take to heart – better education and environment in the Philippines in the next 100 years.

Directed by multi-awarded director and La Salle alumnus Fritz Ynfante, the one-hour musical extravaganza done in lyric theater charts the university’s 100 year history from the time the Christian Brothers came to the country in 1911.

First shown last June 11, it will be re-staged on July 31 at the St. Benilde Gym at La Salle Greenhills, 4 pm and 8 pm.

Using existing music, the lyrics of which were improvised by advertising guru and La Salle professor Adie Pena, the show is a mix of Broadway, rock , gospel and a mashup of La Salle’s three different alma mater songs.

Despite the participation of seasoned theater performers Isay Alvarez and Robert Sena from Miss Saigon, Rannie Raymundo and JM Rodriguez, there are no main stars here. Fritz Ynfante wanted the story to be the star. The main characters are nine wingless angels representing the first nine Christian Brothers who came here and founded the school.

The angels who came down from heaven are the continuing thread because they re-tell the story.

Three acts break into three epochs that end in man-made disasters which show important milestones in the history of  La Salle and the country: 1911-1945 ends in World War 11 with the massacre in February 12, 1945 of the Christian brothers and people both young and old, 1946-1972 ends in Martial Law, 1973 to the present time talks about the future and compels audiences to think and be more caring about  education and the environment, La Salle’s two missions which are also universal concerns. Their deterioration is a threat that the university does not want to leave to the next generation.

Other history highlights include the first game between La Salle and Ateneo and the arrival of the first female students (coeds).

A riveting scene in one of the acts has two boys extending their arm to touch each other’s forefinger, embodying One La Salle. The boys represent an elite student and a student from the poorest La Salle campus.
One La Salle
Green, being the university’s color and a symbol of hope, is pervasive throughout the show. According to Adie, the green light and the resplendent green costume of Isay who portrays the Alma Mater songs, signify that the spirit of La Salle continues. He says, “We are talking about three generations who grew up with three different anthems, so that even if they are not familiar with the other songs, we are all green La Sallians.” 

Isay Alvarez is Alma Mater
‘Proudly Green: La Salle’s 100 Years’ was organized by the Grade School and High School Taft chapter of the De La Salle Alumni Association. Its re-staging is in response to the clamor by parents and students who have not  seen it yet. By showing it again, the DLSAA hopes to nurture among the next generation of students the Christian upbringing, spirituality and sound values began by the Brothers 100 years ago.
New challenges
Tickets are selling at P600 for reserved seating and P300 for students. For reservations, call Manny Blanco at 818-3021 and 819-3963 or the De La Salle Alumni Association at 523-6158 and 526-5612.

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